Pilgrim Shares COVID-19 Umrah Experience

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As Makkah now re-opens for pilgrimage, AboutIslam speaks to a British Pakistani, Saad Sultan, who lives in Jeddah, on his experience of Umrah he performed a few days ago.


Feeding the poor and needy is an act that draws us closer to Allah. We earn His forgiveness, mercies and blessings through this act of charity.

“Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah?s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

1. When was your first Umrah, and how was this post COVID Umrah different?

I performed my first Umrah in 2018’s Ramadan. Like everyone else, I did not know what to expect and there was an overwhelming feeling. Because it was Ramadan’ 17th, the Haram was full to its capacity. However, crowd management had been always the feat of Harmain Sharefain’s management. Since 1st Umrah, I have performed Umrah at least dozen times.

Interestingly, when I booked my Umrah post COVID, I was overcome by the same feeling as of first time, mainly because it had been almost 10 months and I did not know what is going to happen. Makkah had been a hot spot during COVID early days, still has relatively higher number of infections. With mixed feelings of being in a place of gathering and worship and conscience choice, all my hopes were pinned down to authority’s management.

???? Read Also: International Pilgrims Return to Makkah for Umrah

We were asked to report an hour before the allotted time at a designated parking where we had to show our e-permit and buses transported us into Haram.

We were directed to King Abdul Aziz Gate, just in front of Makkah Clock Tower. And there was it, Ka`bah, the house of Allah, basking in all its glory. I found the experience intriguingly very safe and spiritually satisfying.

Pilgrim Shares COVID-19 Umrah Experience - About Islam

All arrangements were done considering the Islam’s view of sanctity and importance of a human life. Due to Saudi Arabia’s amassed experience of managing SARS and MERS Virus during 2009 to 2013 Hajj seasons, every aspect of Umrah was taken care of very well.

2. Was it busy? How do they manage crowd control?

I have performed the Umrah during the 2nd phase which allowed 15000 pilgrims every day. For the crowd management, communication was done through the official application that explains what type of SOP’s will be observed during the rituals. Secondly, the transport was running half capacity to and from Haram. As soon as we reached Haram, volunteers asked us to follow the red lines on the floor towards the Mataaf which is courtyard of Ka`bah.

At every instance, volunteers were making sure that everyone is following the lines. As soon we reached the court yard, we were asked to follow the lines around Ka`bah which gradually receded inwards reaching the 7th line in front of Station of Ibrahim.

Even during the Tawaf or circling of Ka`bah, volunteers were there guiding the pilgrims to stay on course. After completing Tawwaf, everyone was given 10 to 15mins to perform Sunnah with social distancing. For Saié at Safa and Marwa, the same formula was implemented. In our slot of time, around 2 to 3 thousand people performed Umrah.

3. Have they removed the water dispensers for Zamzam? What’s the process for getting some water?

Yes, water dispensers were removed, but instead mobile coolers were arranged, dispensing bottled Zamzam to pilgrims, in addition to mobile coolers also presenting Zamzam in disposable glasses.

Read Original Report Here By About Islam

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